PayPal scams are on the rise — keep your money safe with these tips

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5 Tips for Using PayPal Securely

Apr 26, 2024 Fraud Prevention , Personal
paypal app with notification bubble

If you’re a user of PayPal, you probably enjoy the convenience it brings by allowing you to easily move money around. In today’s digital age, with online payment platforms like PayPal that offer convenience and flexibility, ensuring the security of your PayPal account is crucial to protecting your finances and personal information from cyber threats.

In this blog, we’ll explore some essential tips for using PayPal safely and examine the potential risks of not doing so.

5 Tips to Safely Use PayPal:

  1. Enable 2-factor authentication. This allows PayPal to ensure it’s really you trying to access your account and move money around, preventing unauthorized access to your PayPal account.
  2. Verify calls, emails, texts, and links that claim to be from “PayPal”. If you receive an unsolicited communication, always verify the sender is from PayPal by confirming contact information through the official PayPal contact page at
  3. Use a strong password to access your account and change your password often. Use a unique and complex password by combining letters, numbers, and special characters to make it harder to guess. Want to know how secure your password is? See how safe it is using’s password strength test tool.
  4. Set up notifications for all activity on your account. You can set up notification preferences in the account area of the PayPal mobile app and if you log in to your account using a browser on your computer.
  5. Keep your email account and devices secure. Ensure your devices, such as your smart phone and tablet, you use to access PayPal and other financial accounts stay up to date with the latest security updates. In addition, make sure your email stays uncompromised by using tip #3 above, change your password often and use a unique and complex password.

What Can Happen if My PayPal Account is Compromised?

Here are a few examples of what could potentially happen if your PayPal account is compromised and someone who is unauthorized gains access.

Situation 1: Scammers Make You Think YOUR Money is Theirs

Say someone gains access to your online bank account portal. They move money from one account to another. Then “PayPal” contacts you via email or phone call claiming that a certain sum of money was accidentally deposited into your account, and it needs to be given back to PayPal. FYI: they gathered your contact information by stealing it from your online bank account information.

In this case, this is what you need to do:

  1. Review your account activity and find out where the money deposited into it came from. Did it come from another one of your accounts? Did it come from a friend or family member? Always review your account information before making any decision to send someone money who you don’t know, even if they’re claiming to be from PayPal.
  2. If you see that the money came from your own account (in this case, it did), cease all communication with the “representative” claiming to be from “PayPal”.
  3. If you cannot confirm where the money came from, contact your bank’s customer care team or your personal banker at the nearest branch to investigate what is going on with your account.
  4. In either case, make sure you download the BankSouth app and turn on account notifications so you are alerted when money is coming and going out of your account – even if you’re filling your car up with gas or making a run to the grocery store.

What could have happened?

If this person wasn’t careful and confirmed that the money came from their own account instead of “PayPal”, they could have lost the money that “PayPal” claimed they were owed.

Situation 2: You Get an Email That Claims Your Account Will Be Suspended

Scammers often send emails that claim your account will be suspended unless you login or update your account information. The link in the email takes you to a spoofed page for you to put your login credentials. This will help the scammers gain access to your PayPal account and make charges against your account.

In this case, this is what you need to do:

  1. Confirm the email is from PayPal by contacting PayPal directly. Do not reply to the email, click the email, or contact PayPal with any contact numbers listed in the email. Verify the contact information at

What could have happened?

The scammers could have accessed your PayPal account and gone on a shopping spree in your name, potentially charging tens of thousands of dollars for purchases you didn’t authorize.

So always stay aware because scammers are everywhere. By avoiding common pitfalls, you can use PayPal safely and protect your finances and personal information from cyber threats. Stay vigilant, stay informed, and enjoy the convenience of secure online payments. Get some more tips to avoiding scams in our online help center and our blog.

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